Category Archives: writing

Finding my homeland

“Some places make you feel more full than others,” said Palestinian author, Nathalie Handal at last weekend’s third Georgetown Literary Festival in Penang. The theme of the weekend was irresistible to me – Hiraeth – a Welsh word that means … Continue reading

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Silent in Sandakan

Many confuse Sandakan with Samarkand for no other reason than the names sound similar. I knew Sandakan as the Land Below the Wind, thanks to the writings of American author, Agnes Keith in the early part of the last century. … Continue reading

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Just like Yorkshire

Maybe I’m just jaded after two months of unrelenting haze in Kuala Lumpur that has burned my throat and prevented me from breathing deeply? Maybe I’m just tired after moving house and having a handful of minor illnesses playing Sardines … Continue reading

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Meeting the Penang Poet

A few weeks ago I was in Penang again. I love the place. I love the way the Chinese shophouses are  works of art and how the murals blend in with the trees that grow among the ruins and the … Continue reading

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When you have no words

Joshua, our 22-year-old has just taken part in an international Malay speaking competition and the experience for us, his parents, who have watched it happen, has been extraordinary. But before you stop reading and think this blog is just an … Continue reading

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Torn

It’s that Friday in the month that we hold the Writers’ Café. Always a special day for me and one that I only miss if I am out of town. Nothing else keeps me away. It was back in the … Continue reading

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Alien in Phuket

This week I have the very good fortune to attend my second annual Phuket Writers’ Paradise Retreat, led by my friend and author, Anne O’Connell. As soon as I heard the topic for today’s class I was excited – to … Continue reading

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How not to find a publisher

I thought that when we left the valley that would be the end to a constant source of inspiration. A five-hour train journey, with a change in the Midlands did not sound enticing. My head was too full of honeysuckle, … Continue reading

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How to run a writing retreat – Part 2

Put six women word-lovers together in a beautiful place, away from the usual distractions of family and work and technology and it is inevitable that some unexpected things happen and tears are shed. Of course we were here to write. … Continue reading

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A week down the rabbit hole ­– or how we run our writing retreat Part 1

I’ve been coming to Devon for a few years now and adore it here, as many of you know. In the film, Into the Wild, the reader is left with the unforgettable words: “happiness is only real when shared”. And … Continue reading

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